Let Us Drive Change at Scale

Sustainable Innovation in 125 seconds

Nancy Birkhoelzer
Jan 27 · 2 min read

Co-authored by Verena Augustin

We have a vision for what innovation should be all about today.

When astronauts look down on Earth from space, their experience is often described as the “overview effect.” They say it leads to bigger-picture thinking; they feel more responsible; they care deeply.

When scientists peer through their microscopes, they zoom into the tiniest details to understand how everything is connected. They fall in love with complexity.

Business people, on the other hand, have been trained to examine things differently: to simplify everything for a better customer experience; to streamline for more efficiency; to chase the next big thing for more exponential growth.

But this is not good enough anymore. We need both the overview effect and microscope in business, too, to embrace complexity and the greater responsibility it brings.

Not just because this is what the world needs from us; but because it’s the only way to transform our brands and organizations towards long-term relevance.

When we master thinking and caring at system-scale, from the big picture strategy down to the smallest details that get prototyped and tested, we can devise solutions that are more future-proof — products and services that are not just desirable, viable and feasible, but also beneficial for society at large and our planet. We can methodically design experiences and stakeholder systems that have a lasting positive impact. We can enjoy inclusive growth that may be exponential, but never at the expense of others.

So let us ask the critical questions.

Let us rethink what we value and innovate for.

Let us build trust as we transform.

And then, let us drive change at scale.

This is what innovation should be all about today.

We call it: Sustainable Innovation.

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